Access - Spring 2018
Message from Lynn Middleton, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans
Listen to an audio version of Message from Lynn Middleton, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans (MP3, 5 MB)
Welcome to the first issue of Access Newsletter for 2018! I was recently appointed to the role of Acting Head of Wheel-Trans, as my colleague Eve Wiggins has taken on an exciting new role at the TTC.
I have been at the TTC for just over 30 years. I began as an operator in bus and subway, and then moved to the Transit Control Centre early on in my career. I spent 25 years working in various roles within the Transit Control Centre, dealing with a variety of incidents and emergencies. My last three years have been at Wheel-Trans. I am passionate about the customer experience, and the delivery of high quality, accessible transit services. I am also excited about further supporting Eve, as she continues to drive forward the many important initiatives that comprise the Wheel-Trans Transformation as part of her new role.
To successfully realize the TTC's vision – being an accessible transit service that ensures dignity, spontaneity, fairness and freedom of travel for all customers – we must and will continue to see our customers as our partners along this journey.
In the coming months, we will be hosting a series of public meetings to provide an update on the TTC's Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy and answer questions you may have. Please stay tuned to our website for more information about these sessions, which will be held from mid-April to mid-May.
I look forward to connecting with you during our public meetings and hearing your thoughts and ideas. I am truly excited about what 2018 will bring and I know
that together we will continue to build upon the success of the past and take the TTC's Wheel-Trans service to new heights.
Final Phase of Family of Services (FOS) Pilot Now Underway
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The fourth and final phase of the Family of Services Pilot is now underway. In phase four, which began on February 12, customers are able to book Wheel-Trans pick-ups from the Shared Wheel-Trans Stops that were implemented in phase three.
This new phase builds upon the success of the previous phases, to support the TTC's goal of providing Wheel-Trans customers with more independent and flexible travel options.
Following the pilot, the TTC will evaluate the results and determine how to improve Family of Services options for our customers in the future.
|Pilot Phase||Type of Wheel-Trans Trip||Timeframe|
|Customer drop-offs at subway stations||May to August 2017|
|Customer drop-offs and pick-ups at subway stations||August to October 2017|
|Customer drop-offs and pick-ups at subway stations
Customer drop-offs at shared bus stops on five FOS bus routes
|October 2017 to January 2018|
|Customer drop-offs and pick-ups at subway stations
Customer drop-offs and pick-ups at shared bus stops
|January to April 2018|
Family of Services has changed the way I commute by Jessica Geboers
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From the day I moved from Clarington to downtown Toronto to attend Ryerson University in August 2011, the TTC has meant freedom. I grew up in a rural area and cannot drive thanks to my poor reflexes. For the first time in my life, it was easy to jump on the subway to explore the city and live my daily life independently.
While I can use conventional TTC vehicles most of the time, it becomes particularly challenging during cold and snowy winters; and, on the days when the pain and spasms caused by my Cerebral Palsy make it too difficult to stand or move beyond my front door. I was approved for Wheel-Trans in January 2017 when the eligibility was extended to include conditional service. With Wheel-Trans now in my back pocket, little could hold me back from traveling around the city as life directed.
Even before Family of Services came into effect I was using Wheel-Trans to bridge the gaps between subway stations and bus stops, particularly when I need to go into the North York area for physical therapy. I often book Wheel-Trans to get me there on time, but then take conventional transit all or part of the way home because I'm able to take my time.
Fast forward a year, Family of Services––and new allowances for same-day bookings––has made it even easier for me to move freely throughout the TTC system.
Due to the possibility of busy roads and inclement weather, please allow an additional 30 minutes travel time when booking your rides.
New Access Hub Provides Customers with Added Convenience
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The TTC's first Access Hub is now in service. Wheel-Trans customers can book rides to and from the Access Hub at Meadowvale Loop (Meadowvale Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E.) in Scarborough. Please visit the Wheel-Trans booking site for additional information.
Access Hubs are shelters that provide Wheel-Trans customers with a more comfortable place to wait for the bus or their Wheel-Trans ride. They are an important component of the TTC's Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy and they support the Family of Services Model by making connections to conventional transit easier for Wheel-Trans customers.
The Access Hub at Meadowvale Loop has multiple features which include:
- heaters that are “wave” activated when the temperature drops below five degrees (customer simply waves their hand while inside the Access Hub a few inches away from the sensor);
accessible doors that are also wave activated (customer waves hand in front of door);
- good lighting; and
- a spacious environment that will accommodates multiple customers with mobility devices and generous seating.
The Meadowvale Loop receives 10-minute or better bus service from the 85 Sheppard East and 86 Scarborough bus between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday; and between 8 a.m. and 1 a.m. on Sundays.
The Access Hub at Meadowvale Loop is the first of 12 Hubs that are slated for construction across the city as part of the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy and is partially funded by the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.
This new symbol is being placed on maps to indicate there is an Access Hub at this location. Two more hubs are slated for construction in 2018. You can select the hub by going to Landmark Type Subway/GO/Airport/Bus Transfer Point -> Meadowvale Loop Access Hub.
Decoding Your Bus Stop
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The TTC is the third largest transit system in North America and the majority of our customers travel on our fully accessible bus network. Below is some very useful information about conventional bus service that may help you along your Family of Services journey.
Levels of Service
You'll find colour-coded “lozenges” on TTC bus and streetcar stop markers, maps and signs throughout the city. These lozenges let you know which routes are being served at a specific location and what level of service you can expect. (i.e. local vs. express service, route frequency, Community Bus and Blue Night Network routes.)
Red: Local Regular Service
Green: Express Service
Grey: Community Bus – Neighbourhood midday service, Monday to Friday, connecting shops, groceries, community centres and other local points of interest. Flag down bus anywhere along the route.
Blue: Blue Night Network – The Blue Night Network operates overnight on most major routes, providing 30-minute or better service until the start of subway service. From approximately 1:30 a.m. nightly to approximately 6 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays; 8 a.m. on Sundays.
Ten-Minute Network 10-minute or better service from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday; 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays
The TTC's bus fleet is entirely wheelchair and scooter friendly on all bus routes.
Our new streetcars are on the right track!
The TTC continues to grow its fleet of new low-floor accessible streetcars. We've developed a video to show you some of the vehicle's accessibility features, how to board and exit, and general safety tips for both customers and motorists. Check out our latest video! The video is available online at ttc.ca
A Message from ACAT
Hello, my name is Raymond Dell'Aera, and it is my honour to serve as ACAT Chair for 2018, advocating for accessible transit in Toronto. I have been an ACAT member since 2015, bringing my experience traveling on Wheel-Trans and conventional buses, subway, and streetcars using a mobility device. I believe everyone is entitled to a transit system that works for them, safely and reliably, enabling the opportunity to live life in our city to its fullest.
This year, ACAT will continue to assist the TTC in making sure the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy meets the needs of both new and existing customers. That means working closely with Wheel-Trans staff as they continue to expand and improve the Family of Services model, and ensuring you have information about how you will be affected. It also means continuing to advocate for the removal of barriers on conventional buses, subways, and streetcars to provide better access for people with a wide range of abilities.
We encourage you to bring issues or ideas for improvement to us via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by attending the TTC Annual Public Forum on Accessible Transit. We also welcome you to attend our monthly public meetings, held on the last Thursday of every month at 1900 Yonge St. You can learn more about ACAT at ttc.ca/acat.
Raymond Dell'Aera - ACAT Chair
No-Show Boards Come to Shared Wheel Trans Bus Stops
To further support the seamless connection of Wheel-Trans customers to the TTC's conventional bus network, No-Show Boards at the 44 Shared Wheel-Trans Stops has been implemented.
Operators will post a “We missed you” ticket on the No-show board when customers are more than five minutes late for their Wheel-Trans ride, alerting the customer that the operator has left.
The Late-Cancellation and No-Show Policy applies to pick-ups at shared bus stops. Customers who miss their ride and would like to request a new one, are encouraged to call the Priority Line (416-393-4311).
New beacon technology at St Clair Station
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The TTC is testing new beacon technology at St Clair Station as part of a larger accessibility initiative underway in the Yonge and St Clair area to make the area more inclusive and accessible for people with low vision. Increasing accessibility features throughout the TTC system is a key piece of the 2018-2022 Corporate Plan.
The beacons transmit information to an app called BlindSquare Event. The app verbally guides people through the station or participating businesses while providing users with a description of their surroundings; including location name, the layout or floor plan and the goods or services that are available. The app also gives customers additional information, such as where bus stops are located and the names of the roads they are walking along. The BlindSquare Event app is available in many different languages and is free to download on Apple devices from the App Store.
Upcoming public meetings to provide an update on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy
April 18, 6:30-8:30pm
Metro Hall rooms 308/309
55 John St., Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
April 24, 6:30-8:30pm
Father John Redmond Catholic
Secondary School and Regional Arts Centre
28 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr.,
Etobicoke, ON M8V 4B7
April 25, 6:30-8:30pm
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
959 Midland Ave, Scarborough, ON M1K 4G4
April 30, 2:30-4:30 + 6:30-8:30pm (afternoon and evening)
North York Memorial Community Hall,
5110 Yonge St. Toronto ON M2N 6M1